Symptom prevalence and related distress in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy

Muthukkumaran Thiagarajan, Chan Caryn Mei Hsien, Ho Gwo Fuang, Tan Seng Beng, M. A. Atiliyana, N. A. Yahaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Much has been done to examine the psychological impact of cancer treatment, but it remains unclear to what extent anxiety and depression is related to symptom prevalence. The present study concerned the characteristics and frequency of distress as related to symptom prevalence in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy in Malaysia. Materials and Methods: Participants were 303 consecutive adult cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy in an academic medical center. The short form Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale (MSAS-SF), which covers three domains of symptoms (global distress, physical-and psychological symptoms) was used to cross-sectionally measure symptom frequency and associated distress via self-reporting. One-way ANOVA and t-tests were used to test mean differences among MSAS-SF subscale scores. Results: Complete data were available for 303 patients. The mean number of symptoms was 14.5. The five most prevalent were fatigue, dry mouth, hair loss, drowsiness and lack of appetite. Overall, symptom burden and frequency were higher than in other published MSAS-SF studies. Higher symptom frequency was also found to be significantly related to greater distress in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Conclusions: Patients undergoing chemotherapy suffer from multiple physical and psychological symptoms. Better symptom control or palliative care is needed. Greater frequency of reported symptoms may also indicate a subconscious bid by patients for care and reassurance-thus tailored intervention to manage distress should be offered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-176
Number of pages6
JournalAsian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Fingerprint

Drug Therapy
Neoplasms
Psychology
Symptom Assessment
Sleep Stages
Malaysia
Alopecia
Appetite
Palliative Care
Fatigue
Mouth
Patient Care
Analysis of Variance
Anxiety
Depression
Therapeutics

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Chemotherapy
  • Distress
  • Psychosomatic effects
  • Symptom prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology

Cite this

Symptom prevalence and related distress in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. / Thiagarajan, Muthukkumaran; Caryn Mei Hsien, Chan; Fuang, Ho Gwo; Beng, Tan Seng; Atiliyana, M. A.; Yahaya, N. A.

In: Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, Vol. 17, No. 1, 2016, p. 171-176.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Thiagarajan, Muthukkumaran ; Caryn Mei Hsien, Chan ; Fuang, Ho Gwo ; Beng, Tan Seng ; Atiliyana, M. A. ; Yahaya, N. A. / Symptom prevalence and related distress in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. In: Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention. 2016 ; Vol. 17, No. 1. pp. 171-176.
@article{57169f827c2d41918b5a2af7495798f9,
title = "Symptom prevalence and related distress in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy",
abstract = "Background: Much has been done to examine the psychological impact of cancer treatment, but it remains unclear to what extent anxiety and depression is related to symptom prevalence. The present study concerned the characteristics and frequency of distress as related to symptom prevalence in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy in Malaysia. Materials and Methods: Participants were 303 consecutive adult cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy in an academic medical center. The short form Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale (MSAS-SF), which covers three domains of symptoms (global distress, physical-and psychological symptoms) was used to cross-sectionally measure symptom frequency and associated distress via self-reporting. One-way ANOVA and t-tests were used to test mean differences among MSAS-SF subscale scores. Results: Complete data were available for 303 patients. The mean number of symptoms was 14.5. The five most prevalent were fatigue, dry mouth, hair loss, drowsiness and lack of appetite. Overall, symptom burden and frequency were higher than in other published MSAS-SF studies. Higher symptom frequency was also found to be significantly related to greater distress in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Conclusions: Patients undergoing chemotherapy suffer from multiple physical and psychological symptoms. Better symptom control or palliative care is needed. Greater frequency of reported symptoms may also indicate a subconscious bid by patients for care and reassurance-thus tailored intervention to manage distress should be offered.",
keywords = "Cancer, Chemotherapy, Distress, Psychosomatic effects, Symptom prevalence",
author = "Muthukkumaran Thiagarajan and {Caryn Mei Hsien}, Chan and Fuang, {Ho Gwo} and Beng, {Tan Seng} and Atiliyana, {M. A.} and Yahaya, {N. A.}",
year = "2016",
doi = "10.7314/APJCP.2016.17.1.171",
language = "English",
volume = "17",
pages = "171--176",
journal = "Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention",
issn = "1513-7368",
publisher = "Asian Pacific Organization for Cancer Prevention",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Symptom prevalence and related distress in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy

AU - Thiagarajan, Muthukkumaran

AU - Caryn Mei Hsien, Chan

AU - Fuang, Ho Gwo

AU - Beng, Tan Seng

AU - Atiliyana, M. A.

AU - Yahaya, N. A.

PY - 2016

Y1 - 2016

N2 - Background: Much has been done to examine the psychological impact of cancer treatment, but it remains unclear to what extent anxiety and depression is related to symptom prevalence. The present study concerned the characteristics and frequency of distress as related to symptom prevalence in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy in Malaysia. Materials and Methods: Participants were 303 consecutive adult cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy in an academic medical center. The short form Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale (MSAS-SF), which covers three domains of symptoms (global distress, physical-and psychological symptoms) was used to cross-sectionally measure symptom frequency and associated distress via self-reporting. One-way ANOVA and t-tests were used to test mean differences among MSAS-SF subscale scores. Results: Complete data were available for 303 patients. The mean number of symptoms was 14.5. The five most prevalent were fatigue, dry mouth, hair loss, drowsiness and lack of appetite. Overall, symptom burden and frequency were higher than in other published MSAS-SF studies. Higher symptom frequency was also found to be significantly related to greater distress in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Conclusions: Patients undergoing chemotherapy suffer from multiple physical and psychological symptoms. Better symptom control or palliative care is needed. Greater frequency of reported symptoms may also indicate a subconscious bid by patients for care and reassurance-thus tailored intervention to manage distress should be offered.

AB - Background: Much has been done to examine the psychological impact of cancer treatment, but it remains unclear to what extent anxiety and depression is related to symptom prevalence. The present study concerned the characteristics and frequency of distress as related to symptom prevalence in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy in Malaysia. Materials and Methods: Participants were 303 consecutive adult cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy in an academic medical center. The short form Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale (MSAS-SF), which covers three domains of symptoms (global distress, physical-and psychological symptoms) was used to cross-sectionally measure symptom frequency and associated distress via self-reporting. One-way ANOVA and t-tests were used to test mean differences among MSAS-SF subscale scores. Results: Complete data were available for 303 patients. The mean number of symptoms was 14.5. The five most prevalent were fatigue, dry mouth, hair loss, drowsiness and lack of appetite. Overall, symptom burden and frequency were higher than in other published MSAS-SF studies. Higher symptom frequency was also found to be significantly related to greater distress in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Conclusions: Patients undergoing chemotherapy suffer from multiple physical and psychological symptoms. Better symptom control or palliative care is needed. Greater frequency of reported symptoms may also indicate a subconscious bid by patients for care and reassurance-thus tailored intervention to manage distress should be offered.

KW - Cancer

KW - Chemotherapy

KW - Distress

KW - Psychosomatic effects

KW - Symptom prevalence

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84957959197&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84957959197&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.7314/APJCP.2016.17.1.171

DO - 10.7314/APJCP.2016.17.1.171

M3 - Article

C2 - 26838205

AN - SCOPUS:84957959197

VL - 17

SP - 171

EP - 176

JO - Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention

JF - Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention

SN - 1513-7368

IS - 1

ER -